Environment

Top eco-friendly essentials for festival go-ers

Glastonbury Festival is doing what it can to tackle litter pollution and be green. But what can revellers do to lessen the environmental impact of their own festival adventures?

Thousands of people and tents sptretch across the fields of Glastonbury festival

The sprawling view of Glastonbury 2015. Hundreds of thousands attend every year. Image: Rachel D/Flickr

Thousands of festival goers are making their way to Glastonbury this week for the festival’s 50th anniversary.

Ahead of the 200,000-plus punters descending on Worthy Farm for the five-day event, organisers have made a pledge to combat littering.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is Glastonbury’s Green Pledge?

Glastonbury has made an environmental pledge for this year’s event, which it expects all festival goers to observe while on site.

Summarising the Green Pledge initiative, organisers say:

“For Glastonbury Festival to be sustainable, we all have a duty to make sure the farmland on which it stands is looked after. With over 200,000 people visiting and working across this sprawling site, reducing the impact Glastonbury Festival has on its general environment is a huge task. And it is one which we are fiercely devoted to.

“But we simply can’t do it without you. As well as accepting the festival’s terms and conditions of entry when paying your balance, you were required to sign our ‘Love the Farm, Leave no Trace’ pledge.”

Glastonbury’s tips to help protect the environment at festivals

As well as observing the Green Pledge, the festival is encouraging attendees to use the toilets provided to prevent contamination of the local water supply. People are also encouraged to use the site’s recycling bins, only use what they need, and take all possessions home. 

Organisers recommend using public transport (although trains may be tricky with the strikes), cycle or car-share to the festival. Revellers are also advised to bring reusable water bottles, use water responsibly, and avoid bringing glass bottles or other prohibited items.

These practices can be applied to all festivals this summer, not just Glastonbury.

As well as adhering to the policies put forward by the legendary Somerset festival, revellers can go a step further and commit to eco-friendly items that will reduce their carbon footprint.

Top eco-friendly festival essentials

Here are five reusable and sustainable items that every festival goer should pack this year.

Biodegradable wipes

Cheap, disposable, and easy to carry around, wet wipes have long been a festival staple. Unfortunately, these festival essentials can be damaging to the environment. Even when they are put in the bin, these essential festival items release microplastics as they break down, which, in turn, can contaminate water and food supplies.

Eco-conscious festival punters should opt for biodegradable, fragrance-free wipes that are made from sustainably sourced plant fibres, so they can freshen up without damaging the planet.

Ethical wellies

Wellies are another Glastonbury ‘must have’ that are not especially eco-friendly unless punters opt for sustainable versions. Eco-friendly wellies are made with sustainably sourced rubber, which, unlike most types of synthetic rubber, can be recycled.

Organic soap

Let’s be honest, hygiene at festivals can sometimes be neglected. While showers at the likes of Glastonbury are never ideal, a small bar of soap goes a long way.

Most big brand soaps contain synthetic materials, which can be harmful to the environment. Made from natural materials, eco-friendly soap does not produce harmful toxins or poisons. It also breaks down more easily after use so it doesn’t harm water cycles, making it the only option for eco-conscious festival goers.

Sleeping bags

While sleeping bags may have lagged behind other outdoor gear in the sustainability stakes, they are starting to catch up. Technically advanced, eco-friendly bags that boast fully recycled natural fabrics and contain no harmful chemicals are now available for resource-efficient festival campers.

Toothpaste

Conventional toothpaste tubes are difficult to recycle. Plastic-free and eco-friendly toothpaste that comes in recyclable jars instead of tubes and is made with cruelty-free formulas is another must for eco-warrior festival goers this year. 

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